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Iraq: Attacks kill 24; corpses shot in head found


BAGHDAD (AP) — Police around Iraq’s capital found the corpses of 13 men Wednesday with gunshot wounds to their heads, as other attacks in the country killed at least 24, authorities said.

Officers found eight corpses dumped in farmland in the Sunni-dominated Arab Jabour district, a police officer said. All of the dead, men believed to be between the ages of 25 to 35, suffered gunshot to their heads, he said.

Arab Jabour, a former insurgent stronghold, is located about 25 kilometers (15 miles) south of Baghdad.

Authorities found another five corpses in a vacant lot in a residential area of the capital’s northwestern Shula neighborhood, the officer said. The slain men, all in their 30s, had their hands and legs tied and suffered gunshots in heads and chests, he said. Officers found no identification on the corpses.

The discovery of corpses is a grim reminder of Iraq’s sectarian warfare in 2006 and 2007, when both Shiite and Sunni death squads used to roam the streets and raid homes to round up people. Authorities later found the victims’ corpses mutilated and left on the street.

Meanwhile, gunmen armed with silencer-fitted pistols broke into the house of a Sunni family in the predominantly Shiite northern Hurriyah neighborhood Wednesday in northern Baghdad, killing the parents, two sons and a daughter, a police officer said. A motive for the attack wasn’t immediately clear.

A bomb exploded in a commercial district of Baghdad’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing two civilians and wounding five, authorities said. Three mortar rounds also landed in a street in the southwestern Albu Eitha neighborhood, killing two and wounding five, police said. Gunmen also killed a civilian and wounded three when they opened fire on a crowd in the southeastern Bayaa neighborhood, officials said.

Outside of Baghdad, a suicide bomber rammed his car into a checkpoint manned by the Kurdish security forces known as peshmerga in the town of Khanaqin, killing three and wounding 12, another police officer said. Khanaqinis 140 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Baghdad.

Another suicide bomber set off his explosives-laden belt at the gate of a police station in the town of Habbaniyah, allowing another to enter and blow himself up inside the building, a police officer said. The blast killed five police officers and wounded eight, he said.

Habbaniyah is 80 kilometers (50 miles) west of Baghdad.

Also to the west of Baghdad, militants fired two mortar rounds on a police station outside the city of Ramadi, which was then attacked by a suicide attacker on foot and gunmen, the officer said. That attack killed four officers and wounded 12, as police killed two of the gunmen, he said.

Ramadi is located 115 kilometers (70 miles) west of Baghdad.

A drive-by shooting also killed two school teachers in the town of Hadra, between the northern city of Mosul and western Anbar province, authorities said.

Three medical officials confirmed the casualty figures from the attacks. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity as they were not authorized to release the information to journalists.

A spike in attacks in Iraq has raised fears about a return of the sectarian bloodshed that pushed the country to the brink of civil war in 2006-2007. Violence has been on rise since April when the government launched a bloody crackdown on a Sunni protest camp. More than 5,500 people have been killed since.

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